Bikeways have created a lot of interest in recent years. Some agencies have built separate off-road bike paths, while many more have painted bike lanes on streets. Other communities have installed green "Bike Route" signs in neighborhoods and park systems without the special lanes. Different types of bike facilities meet the needs of different types (classes) of bicyclists.
Experienced adult bicyclists prefer to ride on the road with the flow of traffic, with bike lanes to separate them from motor vehicles. Novice or child bicyclists prefer off-road bike paths.
The cost of building and maintaining bikeways can be a deterrent to many bike programs. Initial cost can range from a few dollars to paint a lane, to a small fortune to build a separate path including special bridges and railings where needed. Funding may be available from the federal ISTEA or "Roadway Enhancement" funds. Such projects must be submitted through an established procedure.
An overall bicycle safety program should include
- Enforcement of traffic laws
- Bike safety training in the schools at an early age
- Follow-up training every year in the schools and involvement of the parents of minor children who violate traffic laws or exhibit dangerous riding habits
The bike program for a community should include three principal features
- Education in safe riding practices
- Enforcement of rules of the road
- Development of well-engineered bike lanes and bike paths
This will involve the active participation of
- School officials
- Law enforcement officials
- Traffic engineers and of course, residents
Remember: At night, Florida law requires lights on both the front and rear of all bicycles. More than 60 percent of Florida bike fatalities occur at night. (Traffic Information Program Series Revised 12/95 TIP No. 6).